By Meduoye Adeyinka .
The abuse of the privilege and the future of a child; the long distance from the corridor of formal education; the ghostly misplacement of its destiny like that of a desert wanderer in no traceable path; the dashing of hope and loss of dignity in a pluralistic society; the careless and disoriented nature of its character due to abject poverty; the deprivation of the opportunity to grow, develop and unleash their potential are part and parcel of the flurries of abnormalities and negativities of the Almajiri menace.
The struggle and attempt to put an end to such a scheme has reached a newer dimension where those personalities and dispositions that run it, have raised the cunning game of blackmail, mischief and diabolic machinations to an unimaginable phase. The preponderance of immoralities in our socio-cultural and religious corridor must be challenged with an objective to put emphasis on peace for sustainable development. We must begin to shun the scourge of intolerance and chauvinism.
There are loads of opportunities to walk in tandem with the striking positivity of unleashing the needful; especially in matters that require exigent intervention without much discourse and consultations. Let me say that if the robust but filthy political arena of the nation is our choice, we will never cease in the terrain to keep our nascent democracy strong, vital and our essential freedoms reachable and handy for all.
Without recourse, better representation of the electorate is no tyranny, which is maximally and rationally expected from our leaders in such critical times. We need champions that are champions in consistency in all walks of our civic discourse, eroding the emblem of mediocrity and oppression, thus paving the way for moralities, tranquillity and nobility to surface. Of course, that is what we should do. No matter what you and I think and feel about the slavery-like and bastardised Almajiri system, there is practically one thing we can all agree on for the next days – we have to salute the bravery and courage of a soul who deemed it fit to place a ban on such scheme which, in turn, is far from the bane of modernity and the cradle of civilization.
Nigerians crave leadership that will match words with actions; one full of ideological premises to promote democratic ethos; one full of confidence to steer territorial affairs; one to tame the skewed face on impunity; one who is highly spirited to support the emergence of strong national interest; one that will raise the bar of discipline among defaulters and ensures the right to freedom of personality, hope, dignity and sense of belonging to those once subjected to the thesis of street begging in the state.
In line with the appellation of Kaduna State, Governor Nasir el-Rufai reiterated his words: “Every child in Kaduna State must get 12-year free and compulsory primary and secondary school education,” adding: “As such, no parent has any excuse for his child not to go to school.” It is important to accede that this is much needed, rather than a regulated social duty that breaks the heart of generosity and makes bold power look pale. Before now, complaints were being vented to the high heavens, but it is gradually being replaced with a shout of emulation. Your Excellency, your action is in order.
The phase of discipline that comes with such ban will somewhat save the remnants of the Almaiiris of northern states for a new life, new beginning and new hope in the reborn land of Kaduna State. Along with all men of goodwill, it is time to remember that whether we are Yoruba, Hausa/Fulani, Igbo or the likes, we all bleed the same red blood of humanity; we will enjoy the glorious freedoms and rights as Nigerians and lift the spirit of nationalism in oneness and unison. Even in the face of diversity, we will salute the Nigerian flag flying in higher altitude under the hovering cloud.
Humanity comes first, even in the face of daunting challenges, which is an overturn on the religious subjection of our northern brothers and sisters to just Quranic education and the denial of Western education. Religion is one thing, education is another – both play pivotal roles in the life of every man. Since it is no election time, the northern leaders are seen pushing with might and strength for the scrapping of the controversial Quranic schools, which have bedevilled the region for too long. With such bold action, the enthusiasm that greeted the aura of hope in the darkest of the hour is a stark belief that a light is visible at the end of the tunnel.
At every corner, there are praise-singers, third-party adulators and sycophants, promoting cheap politics here and there, and gobbling at the feet of elected public officials for reason(s) privy to them. Yes, I still use my pen and make public analysis because I love the sound of action that is being orchestrated in the course of passion. That is who I am and because I still can, I choose not to be a product of conformity, as I never choose to pitch my tent at the side of prevailing mediocrity.
In the silence of the night, I salute the light within your eyes where the hope and restoration of the character of the Almajiri dwells. Especially, in a clime of ours, it is realistic and a known fact that evil report carries farther than any acclamation, and as such, this piece is not expected to move an inch even in the advent of social media. Truth be told, it is no time to judge the generality of the action by the noise of the applause that accompanies it. But something is clear; you didn’t just address a certain thing; rather, you addressed a thing in a certain way. That is a plus.